Interesting D3x analysis

This confirms the information we have been receiving lately - Nikon D3x by the end of the year.


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  • Good read. Don’t forget that Luminous Landscape also commented on the D700,


  • PHB

    The speculation is all centered on the sensors. I doubt that is the constraint Nikon face in delivering a 22MP camera. The bigger near term challenge might well be finding a CPU with appropriate power management that they can fit into the D3 shell.

    The other likely constraint on Nikon is the relationship of order size to component cost. The reason Apple has been able to drop the price of its iPhone is that they have ramped up production massively.

    Nikon is definitely looking to capture market share. I suspect that the return to the full frame sensor format has more to do with not wanting to be behind Canon on any front rather than actual necessity. People are now worrying about noise at ISO 3200. Less than five years ago I was shooting 200 ISO film and thinking it was fast compared to the 32 slide I used to use.

    If you want long focal length you are much better off with the D300 DX sensor than the D3 FX. Its like getting a telecoverter built into the camera that doesn’t even cost you an F-stop. I would like to see someone do a comparison of the 70-200mm 2.8 zoom at 200mm on a DX format sensor and the 300mm f2.8 exotic prime. The prime might win over the zoom, but I bet it would be close. The DX format is only sampling from the very center of the image where (almost) every lens is strongest.

    So why would anyone want to tote the $10,000 D3 + 300mm exotic combo when the D300 + 70-200mm zoom is $3,600, almost half the price, and much lighter to boot. And if you do go for the exotic its like you have a f2.8 450mm.

    The real point of the FX format is to shoot wide. At the moment there are precisely two lenses that actually make sense on the D3/D700, the 14mm prime and the 14-24mm zoom. If you take the low noise’ propaganda seriously you could make a case for the 50mm f/1.4. But most of the people who buy the D700 will be buying it just to have the shinny new thing.

    I suspect we will in fact see a 22MP camera on the D3 body announced some time soon, but not till they have the lenses to compliment it.

    The 70-200 mm zoom is currently out of stock pretty much everywhere (except one store asking a greedy $2500 for their last one). I suspect that means that its about to be upgraded to VRII. Status: enforced wait.

    The 80-400mm zoom is in stock everywhere but every review points to it being sloooow focusing due to being non-AF-S. (No, Ken Rockwell, I don’t think its intrinsic to the lens design, I think its the limited torque of the built in camera motor that mandates the low gearing ratio). Status: Wait for the AFS version.

    The 14-24 mm zoom is great, but only if you are shooting FX. Otherwise you might as well buy the 12-24mm zoom which lets you use like filters and stuff. Status: wait for the D700.

    Is it just me or is it somewhat odd that Nikon’s lens priority this year would be releasing a range of PC-E lenses?

    I suspect that the 22MP D3 is waiting for the new tele lenses to go with it.

  • Blog Admin

    Yes, this is also a good reading but no rumors.

  • Blog Admin

    I agree with many things in your comment:

    – the PC- E lenses: I am not sure why Nikon is pushing those. They are definitely a nice piece of glass, but how many will they sell? They must rely on big profit margin on those.
    – FX->for wide, DX->for tele
    – I think/hope Nikon will give us some more lenses this year, and I don’t mean just updates. It is hard for me to believe that they will leave so much on the table for Sigma (in terms of primes AF-S/HSM for example).
  • waverider

    I want an updated 105 f/2 with af-s , dont care if it got no VR

  • MVK

    FX also has better DoF control because of a bigger circle of confusion, the D700 has better noise performance and higher f/stop diffraction limit due to bigger photosites, and faster 14-bit raw continuous shooting. It is hardly a matter of FX = wide and DX = tele.

    Also, I think the PC lenses is the move Nikon should be making. With noise performance at high ISO ratings like this, why do you need a 50mm f/1? Nikons new f/2.8 zooms (14-24 and 24-70) are the sharpest they’ve put out. They will continue to focus that demographic and the PC, Micro, and DC demographic because in the end, those are the ones that will outlast technology in their usefulness. In a few years, with ISO6400 sensors producing even better results than the D3/D700 now, speed won’t matter as much except for a select few hyperfast shooters.

  • Blog Admin

    Correct, but the 14-24 and 24-70 are more expensive compared to 2-3 primes that will cover different focal lengths.

    I will propose another equation: if you earn money with photography -> FX, otherwise DX. How about that?
  • Dave Davies

    I’m not sure I’d agree that FX=pro and DX=am. The DX format has been extremely useful to a pro sports photographer like me.

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